There’s very little that newly-appointed White House Communications Director Anthony Scaramucci can do to hurt President Trump, but there’s plenty he can do to help him.
As any Trump true believer will tell you, we’re already in the midst of an all-out communications war. According to the media…
- Steve Bannon is a Nazi
- Kellyanne Conway is a fully-developed idiot
- Stephen Miller is weird and scary and crazy
- So is Hope Hicks
- Sean Spicer spent the last six months as a POW
- Sarah Huckabee Sanders is actively banning the First Amendment
- Donald Trump Jr. is a Russian spy
Nothing they say about Scaramucci could possibly be worse than what they’re already saying about the others, so the stakes for Scaramucci are in fact exceedingly low.
But in terms of potential reward — in terms of the value Scaramucci can add if he invests the hard work and is ‘in it’ for the right reasons — those stakes are astronomical.
It’s a great spot for Anthony to be in, and I’m sold that he’s a nice guy so I’ll give him a nod for deserving it.
But the danger ahead may be relying too heavily on that: The “nice guy” factor.
Scaramucci is a private sector sales guy, and an excellent one at that. One concern I have is that President Trump, and possibly Anthony as well, may conflate “smooth talk” with “effective communication.” They’re not only not synonymous, but can in fact be polar opposites if your expectations and audiences aren’t cautiously considered.
Case in point: If Scaramucci thinks he can befriend the media and talk them in to being more fair to President Trump, then he’s in for a very rude awakening. His honeymoon will quickly sour into the unproductive sparring sessions we so often see, and eventually he’ll say something like “alternative fact” that will echo throughout the institutional left and ultimately be used to unfairly discredit him in perpetuity. And from there the feckless fight is on no matter where he goes or what he does, and the only difference between him and President Trump will be that President Trump is exponentially better at it and didn’t need the extra baggage.
But now more than ever, there’s an opportunity to be much more than just another brawler who makes your side cheer and the other side boo.
It doesn’t inspire a lot of confidence knowing that President Trump himself — astutely aware that there’s little to lose in this role — may have hired Scaramucci for his capacity to deliver warm, positively-charged connections when he speaks. And make no mistake that is a favorable and elusive quality. And it’s often accompanied by a strong emotional quotient (an aptitude for reading peoples’ verbal and visual cues, and responding appropriately), which is also an excellent quality. But none of those qualities really matter today because we’re literally at war with the media, and any positive contributions to team Trump’s communication strategy must be laser focused on that and intellectually weaponized for it.
It’s not about befriending the media but about disarming them; forcing them to defend the DC+MSM establishment instead of attacking President Trump.
Right now, today, the Trump coalition has all the communications ingredients to…
- Sustain a united right
- Attract recreationally-engaged Democrat voters
- Disarm the biased media
- Put the Democrat establishment so far on defense that they’re forced to repackage their entire platform
We have all the ingredients to do all these things, but our most amplified “experts” are so inept that they’re only focused on the first one and can barely scrape together the chops to do that well. The entire amplified right — from the politicians to strategists & consultants to the conservative media — are so consumed with propping up their own world, that all they focus on is getting the already-faithful to vote, click, follow, donate, buy their books, hire their firms, etc.
And that means we’re not attracting new voters, we’re not disarming the biased media and we’re not putting the Democrats in any kind of meaningful defensive posture.
And Anthony Scaramucci actually has a chance to change that.
He actually has a chance to implement a communications architecture that unites our nation while disarming and debilitating those who work to keep us divided.
The question is whether or not he’s even aware of let alone prepared for that opportunity, or if he mistakenly thinks he’ll be able to simply reason with the media so they change their minds and decide to be nicer and more fair.
If that’s what he thinks, then we’ll lose nothing. We’ll still be exactly where we are today, except the media will have one more whipping boy wrestling in the mud with them. But if he understands what’s truly at stake, and the opportunity he truly has, then he’ll be able to help finish what we and President Trump started. And right now that doesn’t mean making America great again through chummy media relationships enabled by silver tongues who rocked it in the private sector. It means discrediting in to obscurity the mainstream media who for decades have insisted that America was never great in the first place and that people who believe in “America First” are why.